Jayhawks Hang on in Thriller

Jan. 19, 2005

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Despite a cold first half in which the Jayhawks connected for just 21 points, the Kansas men’s basketball team held on to defeat visiting Nebraska 59-57, Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Nebraska’s Corey Simms had a chance to win the game as time expired, but his three-point attempt rimmed out.

The Cornhuskers controlled the first half, holding KU to 36 percent (9-of-25) shooting in the opening 20 minutes. Kansas seniors Wayne Simien, Keith Langford and Aaron Miles combined for just one point in the first 20 minutes, on a collective 0-for-7 effort from the field. In fact, Simien played just three first half minutes after committing two early fouls. At the break, Nebraska led 24-21.

In the second half, the game remained close as the Jayhawks picked up defensively, holding the Huskers to 29 percent (10-of-34) from the field.

Simien scored all of his team-high 12 points in the second half to lead the Jayhawks to victory. Senior Keith Langford and sophomore J.R. Giddens each added nine points, while senior Aaron Miles and freshman Alex Galindo chipped in with eight apiece.

“We didn’t play well the whole night,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “Our defense was good early, which kept us in the game.

“The second half, we played better offensively, but we still made mistakes which could have easily cost us the game. We dodged a big bullet tonight.”

Nebraska guard Joe McCray led all-scorers with 19 points, which included an 8-of-10 effort from the free throw line. Forward Wes Wilkinson added 16 points in the loss.

Kansas (14-0, 4-0 Big 12) will next be in action Saturday on the road at Villanova. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m.